Introducing Jozsef Patarica
I am a newcomer to the Kalbar team and make my debut as a contributor to the Kalbar Conversations column. I commenced as Chief Executive Officer at the beginning of April.
East Gippsland is soon to be my home as I will be relocating from Bendigo with my wife Kathryn. Our two sons reside in Melbourne but visit us frequently.
I’m very excited about the opportunity to be part of the future development of the Fingerboards mineral sands project as it will make a major contribution to the East Gippsland region. Like the rest of Australia, I watched in horror as this region was hit hard by the bushfires just four months ago, and if that wasn’t enough to deal with, we now find ourselves in uncharted territory in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the current trying times, I believe the Fingerboards project has the potential to provide lasting positive benefits for the region through investment, employment, and a boost to local businesses that really need assistance as they recover and rebuild over the coming years.
Kalbar recently announced the achievement of a major project milestone by securing financial backing from a UK-based investor. This enables the project to complete the EES process and provides adequate funding to progress through the construction phase.
The project is edging closer to the end of the EES journey with plans to go to EES Public Exhibition in the near future. I am confident in the EES process and the high level of scrutiny and scientific rigour applied to all aspects of the project.
I look forward to speaking with any interested community members and stakeholders about the project. Kalbar has always encouraged community input and we have built strong and positive relationships with many people in the East Gippsland community, which we intend to continue. In the meantime I am meeting people on line and look forward to when I can continue engaging face-to-face.
The Fingerboards project will deliver significant economic benefits to East Gippsland. The creation of 200 job opportunities during construction and the ongoing 200 operational roles with the multiplier effect with indirect employment will help grow existing local businesses, suppliers and services in the region, and contribute to the community more broadly.